Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 02/15/2018 When Wax, a young DJ from 1980s Brooklyn, accidentally kills a robot overlord with his funky fresh beats, his friends have to help him quickly train in the deadly art of “sci-fu” in order to defeat the remaining robot warriors and save Earth from destruction. As crazy as the concept sounds, overall it’s a pretty classic samurai story—our hero must defeat several bad guys to get to the boss, but only by believing in himself can he defeat the evil overlord and get the girl. But it’s Mercado’s artwork that truly puts a fresh spin on this tale; his heavy outlining and bright colorization make his cartoon characters jump off the page, which makes the many action sequences all that more impressive. Those sequences make up the majority of the piece. Meanwhile, the keen mixture of epic fighting scenes and hilarious rap battles (“My beats make me strong like a pot of hot black tea / And I’m radioactive— / like Madame Curie”) will definitely play well with readers looking for something fast and breezy. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 03/01/2018 Gr 4–6—Wax, a budding deejay in 1980s Brooklyn, has a crush on his neighbor, Pirate Polly. He makes mixes with his friend Cooky P and works at his uncle Rashaad's ice-cream truck with Cooky and his sister D. One day Wax's beats accidentally get him, his crew, and his entire apartment building, including Polly and her pet cat, picked up by an alien ship and transported to the planet Discopia. Of course, the falling building kills the robot ruler King Chug Chug and rouses the anger of his son, Choo Choo, who vows revenge. All hopes of returning to Earth seem lost. With the help of Kabuki Snowman, who teaches Wax the art of Sci-Fu (or manipulating sound waves—the perfect talent for the aspiring deejay), our hero must create mixes that stop Choo Choo and his motley crew, the Five Deadly Dangers, in their tracks. Wax must learn Sci-Fu and remember what keeps him human before it's too late. This gem of a graphic novel is nostalgic but not overly retro. The art is exemplary, with a rich palette and eye-catching aliens, and the text is easy to read. Wax's raps are entertaining, and action words are interspersed liberally throughout. Thankfully, this fast-paced, lighthearted, fun title leaves room for a sequel. VERDICT For any middle grade reader looking for an engaging, out-of-this-world graphic novel.—Morgan Brickey, Arlington Public Library, TX - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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